The Aintree Hurdle is a Grade 1 National Hunt hurdle race in Great Britain which is open to horses aged four years or older. It is run at Aintree over a distance of about 2 miles and 4 furlongs (4,023 metres), and during its running there are eleven hurdles to be jumped. The race is scheduled to take place each year in early April.
|Grade 1 race|
|Race type||Hurdle race|
|Distance||2m 4f (4,023 metres)|
|Qualification||Four-years-old and up|
|Weight||11 st 0 lb (4yo);|
11 st 7 lb (5yo+)
7 lb for fillies and mares
|Morley Street||Joyful Noise||Ikdam|
|Beech Road||Cloughtaney||Celtic Shot|
|Celtic Chief||Sabin Du Loir||Cloughtaney|
The event was established in 1976, and it was originally run over 2 miles and 5½ furlongs. It was shortened to its present length in 1988. The race is staged during the three-day Grand National meeting, and was traditionally contested on the final day, Saturday. In 2013 it was moved to the opening day of the meeting, Thursday.
The 2010 running was named in memory of Dick Francis (1920–2010), a former jockey who was closely associated with Aintree. He famously rode Devon Loch in the Grand National, and he was leading the race on the run-in when the horse jumped and was overtaken. Since 2017 the race has been sponsored by Betway.
Most successful horse (4 wins):
- Morley Street – 1990, 1991, 1992, 1993
Leading jockey (5 wins):
- Ruby Walsh – Ilnamar (2002), Sacundai (2003), Asian Maze (2006), Zarkandar (2013), Annie Power (2016)
Leading trainer (5 wins):
- Walker, Tim (17 February 2010). "Aintree finally gives Dick Francis his due". London: telegraph.co.uk. Retrieved 10 April 2010.
- "Coronavirus: Horse racing in Great Britain suspended until end of April". BBC Sport. 17 March 2020.
- Racing Post:
- Race Recordings (1982–2003)